Skip to main content

Tom Ball

Tom Ball is a software engineer at Google, working on Java development tools. He has been working with Java since 1994 as part of the JDK, AWT, Swing, Jackpot, and NetBeans teams, and is a contributor to the JavaFX Script compiler team. Tom considers programming a craft, and is always looking for new tools and techniques to improve it.


tball's blog

My JavaOne Talk on Advanced Refactoring

Posted by tball on March 2, 2007 at 11:19 AM PST

Chris Adamson was complaining that no one was announcing that their JavaOne talks were accepted, so here goes: my talk, "TS-9861: Advanced Java Programming Language Refactoring: Pushing the Envelope", was just accepted.

Jackpot just open-sourced? But I thought it already had...

Posted by tball on January 25, 2007 at 3:31 PM PST

After months of slogging through Sun's Open Source Review process, last night I committed Jackpot's source to the NetBeans public CVS repository.

Yet Another "5 Things" Blog

Posted by tball on January 16, 2007 at 11:55 AM PST

Here I was hoping to avoid participating in the "5 Things" blog game, but then Greg tagged me and sent an email vaguely warning against breaking the chain. So here goes:

  1. I never had a formal university education (just college courses whenever they look interesting).

Get Medieval On Your Code

Posted by tball on November 20, 2006 at 2:22 PM PST

I realize I'm dating myself paraphrasing 1994's "Pulp Fiction", but it really pays to get and stay hard-core with your project code. One easy way to turn up the heat is to enable all compiler warnings and tell the compiler to treat them as errors -- all of a sudden, those "minor" cleanup issues one never has time for now demand immediate attention.

Hacking Open Source javac!

Posted by tball on November 13, 2006 at 1:20 PM PST

Hallelujah! Java SE is now an open-source project, with the HotSpot VM and javac as its first sub-projects.

Hacking javac

Posted by tball on September 16, 2006 at 3:55 PM PDT

hack (hăk) n., A non-obvious solution to an interesting problem.

Subversion Just Works in NetBeans

Posted by tball on September 6, 2006 at 12:05 PM PDT

It was exciting to read that the JDK sources are now available as a project (admittedly, my life is pretty low-key).

Munge: Swing's Secret Preprocessor

Posted by tball on September 5, 2006 at 1:57 PM PDT

This may seem like ancient history now, but when Swing was first developed the team was sucked into a maelstrom of technical and corporate controversy. The biggest areas of contention were:

Are Closures Just Delegates?

Posted by tball on August 25, 2006 at 2:29 PM PDT

The recent blogs on closures have left me with a real sense of déjà vu.

Is Writing Code a Career Limiting Move?

Posted by tball on August 19, 2006 at 11:02 PM PDT

A CLM, or Career Limiting Move, is an action on your part that threatens your promotion chances, or even your job.